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Department of Environmental Biology, University of Rome “La Sapienza”

The Fungal Collection of the Fungal Biodiversity Lab (FBL) accounts for more than 600 fungal isolates for ex-situ conservation and scientific purposes.
The main purposes of the FBL collection are taxonomical investigation and preservation of fungal species isolated from different environmental matrices (e.g. air, water, soil), during several research projects since the 80’s. Preserved strains are studied for their role in providing important ecological services for ecosystems and human well-being, and for their suitability as bio-resources to develop nature-based solutions. In particular, focus has been put on the investigation of fungal roles in biogeochemical cycles, in processes such as decomposition of organic matter (e.g. litter and wood), cycling of elements (including nutrients and interactions with potentially toxic elements), and in plant growth promotion (e.g. biofertilizers). Moreover, specific investigations are aimed to identify possible candidates, isolated from sites contaminated with pesticides (DDT and lindane) and toxic elements (e.g. As, V, Pb), for application in bioremediation and environmental restoration.
The FBL fungal collection includes also several strains isolated from Victoria Land, Antarctica, including a novel genus and species.
Several strains preserved in the collection have been characterized through molecular, genomic, phenotypic and physiological techniques and studied in order to deepen the ecological roles played by fungi in ecosystem’s functions.

Key persons

  • Prof. Anna Maria Persiani
    Head of the Fungal Biodiversity Lab.

Relevant previous projects

  • Research project: LIFE+11NAT/IT/000135 “FAGUS – Forests of the Apennines: Good practices to conjugate Use and Sustainability” – Beneficiary: Department of Environmental Biology.
  • Research project: “Fungal solubilisation of phosphates for optimisation of P availability to improve plant nutrition” provided by Sapienza University of Rome.
  • Research project: “Soil saprotrophic fungi in bioremediation of hexachlorocyclohexane-contaminated sites: metabolic, enzymatic and chemical aspects” provided by Sapienza University of Rome.
  • Research project: “Sustainable cultivation of the medicinal plant Hypericum perforatum (L.): soil saprotrophic fungi for growth-promoting and resistance induction” provided by Sapienza University of Rome.

Prof. Maria Maddalena Altamura
Department of Environmental Biology
Email: mariamaddalena.altamura@uniroma1.it

Prof. Anna Maria Persiani
Head of the Fungal Biodiversity Lab (FBL)
Email: annamaria.persiani@uniroma1.it

Web: https://web.uniroma1.it/dip_dba302/en

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